About Adele Adendorff | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

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Artist Biography

Adendorff was born in Pretoria, 1977. She matriculated with university exemption at Centurion High School in 1995. Adendorff completed her BA (Fine Arts) degree at the University of Pretoria in 1999, followed by the completion of a MA (Visual Studies) at the University of Pretoria in 2005. In addition to the academic qualifications, Adendorff also completed courses in Multi-media Software including Photoshop, Flash and Freehand at Vega School for Advertising and Design.

The notion of the construction of identity, our unique individual experience of the world and the memories constructed to “record” defining instances in our existence forms the main source of inquiry in the artist’s work. Although the artworks are produced by means of the traditional medium of oil on canvas, it is the artist’s intention to break with traditional portrait painting conventions. Highly polished, carefully rendered areas are often contrasted with looser, undefined markings and stains, whilst some aspects are often left unfinished. The practice of rendering images incomplete furthermore comments on the process of identity which is viewed as being in a perpetual state of flux.

In contrast to this, more recent artistic endeavours are focused around the “completeness” of paintings – a strive towards photorealism with strong emphasis on that which demands nostalgia and idealism. Works are loaded with symbolism and draws heavily on associations with 17th century Dutch Vanitas still life traditions and the meaning associate therein. Themes associated with memory, death and the fragility of existence forms a common thread in the artist’s work.

Artist CV


  • 1995 Matriculated with university exemption Centurion High School
  • 1999 BA(Fine Arts) (Hons), University of Pretoria
  • 2002 MTN Film Studies Course MTN
  • 2003 Certificate courses in Multi-media training (Flash, Photoshop, Freehand & Quark), Vega School of Advertising
  • 2005 MA(Visual Studies) University of Pretoria
  • 2008 Outcomes Based Assessors Course, IEB
  • 2009 Design Process, Greenside Design Centre
  • 2010 Currently working on proposal for D(Phil) Fine Arts with specialisation in Curatorial Practice (to be submitted September 2010 for admission in 2011) University of Pretoria


  • 1997 – 1999 Santam Outreach Project Facilitator, Mamelodi & Atteridgeville
  • 1998 – 1999 Kite Workshop Pretoria Art Museum
  • 2001 – 2002 Boksburg High School Senior Art Educator (Grade 10 -12) Head of Subject: Art
  • 2002 – 2003 Painting Workshops Art Association, Pretoria
  • 2003 – 2010 University of Pretoria Part-time Lecturer: Painting, Drawing, VIT, Visual Communication and History of Art
  • 2004 – 2005 UNISA Part-time Lecturer: History of Art & Visual Studies
  • 2006 – 2009 Magpie Gallery Owner & Curator
  • 2003 – 2010 Cornwall Hill College Senior Art Educator (Grade 10 – 12), Head of Subjects: Visual Art & Design
  • 2010 – 2010 Open Window Part-time Lecturer: Drawing


1996 Annual Student Exhibition Campus Gallery, University of Pretoria

1997 Annual Student Exhibition Campus Gallery, University of Pretoria


  • Annual Student Exhibition Campus Gallery, University of Pretoria
  • Sasol New Signatures Competition, Pretoria Art Museum


  • Annual Student Exhibition Campus Gallery, University of Pretoria
  • Sasol New Signatures Competition, Pretoria Art Museum
  • PPC Young Sculptor Award Art Association, Pretoria
  • Ekurhuleni Fine Art Award City Hall, Kemptonpark
  • Miniature Art Exhibition Gallery Voss, Pretoria


  • Sasol New Signatures Competition Pretoria Art Museum
  • Miniature Art Exhibition Karoo Art House, Pretoria

2001 Femina Exhibition Art Association, Pretoria

2002 Arts Alive WHIPS, Pretoria

2004 Arts Alive WHIPS, Pretoria


  • Arts Alive WHIPS, Pretoria
  • 10 x 10 Group Show Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg


  • Magpie Group Show, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria
  • Gordart Christmas Show, Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Arts Alive WHIPS, Pretoria


  • Liminal Spaces, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria
  • Van Boerekitsch & Ander Dinge, KKNK Oudtshoorn
  • Van Boerekitsch & Ander Dinge, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria
  • Hot Chocolate, Platform on 18th, Pretoria
  • Arts Alive WHIPS, Pretoria
  • Women’s Day Show, Secret Gallery, Pretoria
  • Gordart Christmas Show, Gordart Gallery, Johannesburg
  • Wrapped, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria


  • Tracing Migration, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria
  • Urban Eye, Kyk Gallery, Pretoria
  • For the Sake of the Cupcake, Magpie Gallery, Pretoria
  • X-ing’s (Centenary Exhibition), University of Pretoria, Pretoria
  • Aardklop, Gordart Gallery, Potchefstroom
  • Reflect / Refeul Association of Arts, Pretoria


  • St Sebastian Association of Arts, Pretoria
  • Art Fair Fried Gallery, Pretoria
  • Hartwarm Platform Gallery, Pretoria
  • Red Gallery @ The Yard, Pretoria

2010 Still(a)life Association of Arts, Pretoria


  • 1998 Top 50 PPC Young Sculptor Award
  • 1998Jakaranda Hospital Private Collection
  • 19982nd Prize Winner Sammy Marks Square Competition
  • 1999 Top 100 Award: Ekhurhuleni Fine Art Award
  • 2007 Top 100 Award: Ekhurhuleni Fine Art Award

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